A welterweight clash between top 15 contenders Demian Maia and Belal Muhammad is in the works for June 12th at UFC 263 PPV event, multiple sources confirmed to ESPN.
Sources confirmed that contracts have not yet been signed however a verbal agreement between the two camps have come to fruition. Location has not yet been confirmed at the time of writing.
A veteran of 32 UFC fights, Demian Maia (28-10) was last seen against the then surging Gilbert Burns where the 43-year-old suffered a knockout loss in March 2020 at UFC Brasilia. A Brazilian Jiu Jitsu specialist, when the fight hits the ground there are not many that can compete with Maia.
The Brazilian has been a title challenger twice in his career against Anderson Silva in 2010 and Tyron Woodley in 2017. Although falling short both times, Maia has been a top 10 perennial contender for many years. Currently ranked no.8 in the welterweight division, Maia has divulged desires to retire after competing professionally in MMA since 2001 however expressed his interest for one more fight after his loss to Burns.
Fighting out of Chicago, Muhammad (18-3) was last seen in action in an unfortunate no contest bout on March 13th against fellow welterweight contender Leon Edwards. The bout ended after Edwards accidentally poked the 32-year-old in the eye in the second round which rendered Muhammad unable to continue in what was his first UFC main event. Muhammad campaigned for a rematch however Edwards is now set to face Nate Diaz in May.
Prior to the no contest bout, Muhammad was on a four fight winning streak after defeating Dhiego Lima by unanimous decision in dominant fashion back in Febraury. Muhammad holds impressive wins over Takashi Sato, Tim Means and Lyman Good to name a few having won eight of his last nine fights. His only losses have come to Alan Jouban, Vicente Luque and Geoff Neal. Muhammad will be eager to get back in the octagon with a win after the unfortunate ending in his last bout.
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